A Worthwhile Endeavor
One year after becoming the first country to regulate the trade of cannabis, the Uruguayan government still defends its stance to keep marijuana’s price at $1 USD per gram (alternatively to its market price). These price regulations have raised the voice of dissent from companies intending to enter the market.
“The production cost of a quality cannabis gram can be somewhere between $0.50 up to $4,” said Alfredo Dupetit, the director of one of the companies questioning the Cannabis Regulation and Control Institute (IRCCA).
In response to the negative reaction among the profit seeking companies, the secretary of the National Board of Drugs, Julio Calzada, claims that it’s not about keeping the price strictly at $1 per gram, but to maintain competitive pricing to the Black Market, which in turn will win the war against illegal drug-trafficking.
So, does this tax-free marijuana trade based on individual freedom and social justice come as a surprise? Not entirely, considering the remarkably modest lifestyle of Uruguay’s president, José Mujica. His public stance in support of same-sex marriage and the country’s socialistic policies has earned Uruguay the sobriquet, "the Switzerland of South America."
An Avant-Garde Cannabis Market
The Cannabis Regulation and Control Institute has stated its price structure is based on market studies and is completely profitable, in spite of recent allegations to the contrary.
Although the cultivation of the plant hasn’t yet started in Uruguay, 1,200 people have already registered to either grow their own marijuana or join a membership club, demonstrating the public’s interest of joining the market, despite the on-going price controversy. As far as official dates citizens can start growing, the functionaries are yet to give any authorized information.